Court records reveal details of fatal shooting; man charged with murder

Court records reveal details of fatal shooting; man charged with murder

November 17th, 2016 by Shelly Bradbury in Local Regional News

Eurica Leslie, left, and Chaztus Whaley

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

LaRhonda Spence, 25, was shot to death at a home at 3205 Seventh Avenue in 2015. Contributed photo.

LaRhonda Spence, 25, was shot to death at...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Police believe a 20-year-old man shot and killed a 25-year-old woman during an argument in Chattanooga on Oct. 5, then fled to Chicago, concocted a cover story with a woman, returned to Chattanooga, lied about what happened and then eventually confessed the truth.

Chaztus Whaley is charged with second-degree murder in the death of LaRhonda Spence. Investigators believe Spence went to the home of Whaley and 28-year-old Eurica Leslie on the night of Oct. 5 and got into an argument with Leslie.

Leslie and Spence had gotten into a physical fight earlier in the day, records show. Both women worked at Wendy's. Spence was a manager, and told police that Leslie attacked her after she fired the woman that afternoon.

Leslie was also Spence's ex-girlfriend, according to an affidavit filed by police.

Leslie was seen on the restaurant's video surveillance footage pulling Spence's hair and slamming her head into a desk, according to court records. She was later charged with aggravated assault.

A half-hour after Spence spoke with police about the attack at Wendy's, at around 8 p.m., she was shot in the back at Leslie's home on 7th Avenue and died.

Spence's sister, DeAngela Parker, was with Spence during the shooting. She said that Spence and Leslie argued and as the argument between the women was ending, Whaley and Spence also exchanged words.

Whaley then fired three shots at Spence from the front porch of the home, Parker said. She said the first shot missed Spence, but the second hit her as she was trying to get back into Parker's car.

Police weren't able to contact Leslie or Whaley that night. The next day, Leslie contacted police and told them that she and Whaley were in Chicago. They agreed to come back to Chattanooga to speak with investigators.

In that first interview on Oct. 7, Leslie claimed that she shot Spence as the woman was trying to come into the house. Whaley told police he'd tossed the gun into a body of water near the interstate as the pair was driving to Chicago.

However, Spence was shot in the back, a preliminary report from the medical examiner shows.

On Wednesday, Whaley and Leslie returned to the police department and again spoke with investigators. In that second interview, Leslie said she was not the person who shot Spence. She said Whaley's father helped them come up with the first story.

Whaley admitted that he was the one who shot Spence, according to police.

He was booked into the Hamilton County Jail and was being held on a $20,000 bond. Leslie has not been charged in the homicide.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or sbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas. Follow @ShellyBradbury.

 


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